Linda Douglass

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Linda John R. Phillips  

Linda Douglass was director of communications for the White House Office of Health Reform in the Obama Administration (May 2009–April 2010). In June 2010, she was named Vice President, Head of Corporate and Strategic communications at Atlantic Media. She was later named Senior Vice President of Global Communications. She left that position in June, 2013 to do independent consulting. Later that year, she moved to Italy when her husband, John Phillips, was appointed ambassador to Italy.

Douglass was first associated with Barack Obama as a senior strategist and spokeswoman of his presidential campaign. She joined his campaign on May 21, 2008. Following Obama's victory in the November 2008 presidential elections, Douglass was appointed spokeswoman of the presidential inauguration committee.

Douglass had a long career as journalist with ABC News and CBS News, and began her journalism career in 1973 with KCBS-TV, the Los Angeles affiliate of CBS.

Douglass holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Southern California.




As Barack Obama started fielding questions at a hospital, Linda Douglass stood off to the left, scribbling in a reporter's notebook, as she has in every presidential campaign since 1980.

 

It wasn't until 20 minutes later, when she shouted "Last question!" that her former colleagues were reminded of her new role as a travelling spokeswoman who will be the public face -- a female face in this post-Hillary period -- of the campaign.

 

After three decades as a television correspondent, Douglass is now on the inside -- but still not getting all the answers. She recalls Obama telling her that he would not talk to her, let alone the outside world, about the vice-presidential selection process, saying: "We're locking it down, we're buttoning it up."

 

Which is fine with Douglass: "That was so the people who are trying to claw me every day won't get anything. I expect to be kept in the dark."

 

Douglass, 60, who did her share of clawing while working for ABC and CBS, may be the highest-profile TV reporter to jump into presidential politics since NBC's Ron Nessen became Gerald Ford's White House press secretary in 1974. In the modern era of sound-bite warfare, campaign spokesmen tend to be political operatives or, in a few cases, former media commentators, such as Tony Snow, President Bush's third press secretary.

 

Douglass lives in Georgetown with her husband, lawyer John Phillips. He is an Obama donor, but it was she who was first intrigued by the freshman lawmaker in 2005, when she was covering the Senate for ABC. "I'd come home and say, 'This guy is really impressive. He's got an unusually calm demeanour. He's very smart and strikes me as someone with good judgment.' "

 

Linda and John have a daughter who is an emergency room physician.

 

Note:

•  John R. Phillips (born December 15, 1942) is an American diplomat and attorney, and the former United States Ambassador to Italy and San Marino, serving from 2014 to 2017 and 2013 to 2017, respectively. As a partner at Phillips & Cohen, LLP (1988–2013) and before that, in Los Angeles, he practiced public interest law, specializing in whistleblower cases that recovered over $55 billion from companies defrauding the government.

 



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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017